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June 24th, 2013
BYU Making Friends with the Mammon of Unrighteousness
In March 2007, rare protests erupted across BYU campus in Provo, Utah. The controversial topic that saw Mormon dissent make headlines nationwide was the announcement that then-Vice President Dick Cheney would be giving the university’s commencement speech in April.
For several years prior, BYU commencement speakers were high-ranking leaders in the Mormon church—a trend that has similarly continued after Cheney’s 2007 visit. But this recent anomaly was not pursued at the request of Church officials—as the New York Times notes, “the White House asked university administrators for a chance to speak at the graduation” after which request an invitation was extended.
George W. Bush’s job approval ratings were in the low to mid 30s at the time, and Cheney could find few venues nationwide that would offer the sort of praise that residents of conservative Provo would (and did) heap upon him. BYU went so far as to bestow upon Cheney an honorary Ph.D. for public service. Despite some well publicized dissent (because, after all, protests at BYU are uncommon), the LDS Church emphatically stood by its invitation. Cheney’s presence and remarks earned a standing ovation from most of the individuals present.
Why does any of this matter?
One might reasonably assume that a commencement speech is not a trivial event without significance. This event is the culmination of a student’s years of study and labor in pursuit of certification by the school as to their competence and proficiency. The graduating class of students is about to embark on a new journey, and the keynote speaker at their graduation’s commencement is, in theory, to impart words of wisdom in that regard. One might further assume that the speaker’s life history should exemplify the things being discussed.
This was not true of Dick Cheney.
Cheney was, and is, a globalist—a big government statist who disagrees with, and fights against, the very principles upon which America was founded. He is a major cheerleader for torture, unjust war, and in his positions of power has long been embroiled in enriching the military industrial complex and expanding the domestic police state. This man is no statesman, and openly brags about deceiving the public to fulfill his nefarious goals. In short, he is unfriendly to the principles most Mormons claim to hold dear, and his record in office is not one that can be reconciled with the standards set for Latter-day Saints in scripture.
Unfortunately, Dick Cheney’s invitation to speak at the “Lord’s university” to impressionable youngsters is only one of several similar speaking engagements with other supposed luminaries.
Zbigniew Brzezinski, a former national security adviser with deep ties to globalists groups such as the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission, and the Bilderbergs, and author of (among other books) The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives which advocates for increased American imperialism, spoke at BYU in January 2010 to a standing ovation. He was invited by an organization at BYU called The Wheatley Institution, the motto of which is “Lifting society by preserving and strengthening its core institutions.” It’s hard to see how warmongers such as Brzezinski meet that criteria. The same can be said for others from the globalist paradigm such as James Schlesinger, Condoleeza Rice, Brent Scowcroft, David Petraeus, Harry Reid, and Joe Lieberman—all of whom have spoken to students at BYU in recent years.
To be quite specific, these individuals are among those who buy into a false political philosophy that more closely approximates Gadiantonism than anything resembling liberty and virtue. They are the individuals that should be kept away from suggestible students (unless balanced with those of opposing views), rather than continuously praised and presented to the public as being worthy of our time and attention.
So why is BYU doing this?
Those who revere the Constitution, are passionate about liberty, and who are otherwise in tune to the problems these people present have in recent years become quite frustrated with Brigham Young University over its support for such persons. Yet in this pattern I find a hint of scriptural support—enough, at least, that I don’t join my associates in their anger.
In Luke 16:9, the Lord instructs his followers on a much overlooked principle that may have significant application to our day. It is repeated in this dispensation with emphasis; this is wisdom, we are told, before the Lord states: “make unto yourselves friends with the mammon of unrighteousness, and they will not destroy you” (D&C 82:22).
Mammon, of course, means riches or monetary wealth. But throughout scripture, this “filthy lucre” is equated with power. Satan exerted great power, tempting his would-be followers “to seek for power, and authority, and riches, and the vain things of the world.” Money and power (when used for evil purposes) enjoy a sinister symbiotic relationship, and they both fall within the “Mammon” umbrella that is pitted against God. We read that our enemies, both in ancient times and likewise today, form combinations specifically “to murder, and to rob, and to gain power.”
So if Cheney and his cohorts have anything remotely to do with any of this (and reviewing world history, American policies, and the smashing financial success of the military industrial complex in recent decades, I think they do), why is it at all okay for BYU to cozy up to them?
The Church’s chief priority is to spread the gospel—missionary work. It stands to reason, then, that leaders are sensitive to geopolitical personalities and posturing, and that denouncing a person or policy may create complications for the missionary effort in another country. No longer is the Church an American institution, allowing leaders to openly condemn foreign states and their leaders; the Lord’s elect are effectively walking on eggshells, doing what is necessary to ensure that the nations of the world are open to (and hopefully welcome of) a 70,000-strong missionary force.
Commenting on the Lord’s offering of this “wisdom”, Joseph Fielding Smith noted that it “seems to be a hard saying when not properly understood.” Offering additional context, he continued:
It is not intended that in making friends of the “mammon of unrighteousness” that the brethren were to partake with them in their sins; to receive them to their bosoms, intermarry with them and… come down to their level. They were to so live that peace with their enemies might be assured. They were to treat them kindly, be friendly with them as far as correct and virtuous principles would permit, but never to swear with them or drink and carouse with them. If they could allay prejudice and show a willingness to trade with and show a kindly spirit, it might help to turn them away from their bitterness. Judgment was to be left with the Lord.
In short, there seems to be wisdom in playing nice with the Gadiantons as an institution to preserve the ability to carry on in the more important work. But it’s more than just being left alone by those in control. After citing the Lord’s direction to make friends with the mammon of unrighteousness, Joseph F. Smith asked and answered: “What for? Obviously that you may have power and influence with the unrighteous.” Even Gadiantons can become converted, as the Lamanites demonstrated.
Writing a letter to the Saints from the ironically named “Liberty jail,” Joseph Smith stated that “with great earnestness” the Saints should “waste and wear out our lives in bringing to light all the hidden things of darkness.” And yet, on another occasion he stated:
Our lives have already become jeopardized by revealing the wicked and bloodthirsty purposes of our enemies; and for the future we must cease to do so. All we have said about them is truth, but it is not always wise to relate all the truth. Even Jesus, the Son of God, had to refrain from doing so, and had to restrain His feelings many times for the safety of Himself and His followers, and had to conceal the righteous purposes of His heart in relation to many things pertaining to His Father’s kingdom. When still a boy He had all the intelligence necessary to enable Him to rule and govern the kingdom of the Jews, and could reason with the wisest and most profound doctors of law and divinity, and make their theories and practice to appear like folly compared with the wisdom He possessed; but He was a boy only, and lacked physical strength even to defend His own person; and was subject to cold, to hunger and to death. So it is with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; we have the revelation of Jesus, and the knowledge within us is sufficient to organize a righteous government upon the earth, and to give universal peace to all mankind, if they would receive it, but we lack the physical strength, as did our Savior when a child, to defend our principles, and we have a necessity to be afflicted, persecuted and smitten, and to bear it patiently until Jacob is of age, then he will take care of himself.
Though the Church has substantially matured since its early days, it still lacks the power and influence to speak so openly about the many evils being perpetrated worldwide. Warmongers and Gadiantons permeate society and even grace the halls of Brigham Young University. While theories abound as to the reason why such persons are routinely invited to speak at BYU, this one should rise to the top: for the time being, and in an effort to ensure that the work rolls forward, the Lord’s anointed have found it wise to play nice with, and be accommodating of, the powers that be. Fortunately, as Elder Mathias Cowley once noted, “you can make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness without being unrighteous yourself.”
In the end, I believe (as I have for years) that the effort to expose evil and promote proper political principles is and should be an individual, not an institutional, mandate.
37 Responses to “BYU Making Friends with the Mammon of Unrighteousness”
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I hope you are right Conner. I am only to suspect that the Church has fallen prey as an institution to the influences of these forces. Some powerful Mormon’s are part of this circle and the Church has no Ezra T. Benson warning its members of such dangerous combinations. I might agree that the Church is “keeping its friends close, and its enemies closer” if it were more diligent about warning the people about the fallacy of our Empire building. The Church has to stay out of the political realm, and yet it can and should be the loudest voice on principles of liberty and free expression. I see too many LDS politicians blind to these facts and hand in hand with those forces. We even have our own NSA spy center being built and encouraged by these same politicians. Unfortunately it is going to take more liberty minded individuals seeing through the sophistry of today’s rhetoric and demanding more of our government, and not giving license and public approval to the likes of Cheney and his crowd.
This is the same explanation that I’ve given many LDS members. God is at the helm of this church and in the end His church will win over the gadiantons and the servants of Mammon. I’m not terribly worried about “playing nice” with “friends of the mammon of unrighteousness” because, the way I see it, they are seeking to spread the gospel to as much of the world as possible. Also, since they are not allowed to make headways into the political realm they have to keep mum on that subject, though periodically throwing themselves into the discussion of moral societal issues. I think you stated it very eloquently and are spot on with the church’s current strategy. The same strategy goes for the rest of the nations where we have missionaries. It may seem on the surface that we are “buddy-buddy” with dictators and globalists but in all reality we just want to stay in their countries and preach the gospel of liberty, freedom, spiritual growth, and righteousness to all who will listen… yes, even to gadiantons and globalists.
I’d like to think you are right–
if that is the case, then, there should be no political speakers at any of the church universities. But I do understand what you are saying.
It’s a big mess, basically. I have felt for some time that the leaders of the church are straddling an abyss. I believe we are all in captivity to some extent, all of us–
and they are no different–
I do believe Babylon is dangerous and cruel and can take revenge, and I believe the men who lead the church know that–
I just wonder when the tide will shift–
I have to say, however, that I really admire those Catholic priests who promote liberation theology–
I’m not sure why we have to presuppose that General authorities, in some uniform way, share our understanding of liberty and then find all of these rationalizations for why church policies don’t reflect that understanding.
Isn’t it more likely, and easier to accept, that these men are just products of their social background like we all are and that a lot of the decisions are made without direct revelation? For whatever reason, the Lord may not be actively dispelling their mistaken political presumptions or overriding them on every policy decision.
I’ve never understood people’s need to see all of their own understnaings reflected back at them via the Church, or to expain why they are not.
“I’m not sure why we have to presuppose that General authorities, in some uniform way, share our understanding of liberty…”
I don’t suppose this, and in fact generally suppose the opposite. I agree that many (like all people) hold political/social opinions that are a byproduct of cultural upbringing.
However, in a general sense, I would presume that church leadership (at its highest echelons) understands who today’s gadiantons are, and takes that into account in their actions and statements. I imagine that Pres. Hinckley was not necessarily enthusiastic about the Cheney situation, for example, but that is mere speculation (as is the idea that he was supportive of and enthusiastic about the idea).
If nothing else, God clearly understands these threats, even if the people he has called to lead his church do not. He therefore can prompt and guide accordingly, and that direction will ultimately be followed even if those implementing it do not fully understand why.
My observation is this. From the time they’re born Mormons are taught to follow whomever is speaking from the pulpit blindly. When they do find themselves in leadership positions they’re still following the next tier of leadership above them blindly. They’re programmed to do this. With the expansion of social media the last 10 years and the Internet the last 25 it’s harder and harder to ignore what’s going on in the rest of the world, thus the protests. It’s unlikely the Mormon church or religion as we know it will even exist 50 years from now. The worldview of the average human being has changed so much that there is no other possible outcome than a unique worldview for every human on earth.
If you read many of the teachings of the church, from the early years, through the 1920’s, 1940’s and especially the 1960’s and early 1970’s the general authorities had much to say about communism, socialism and all kind of isms. The problem is that the devil has a grip on many people in high power, so we play nice in order to preach the gospel. The wheat will be removed from the chaff, and unfortunately I think many unaware members of the church will be surprised at what that means, and how and when that is decided.
Just remember the HUGE backlash against the church for Proposition 8.
The day will come when it is time to build Zion. The influences that define our society must be brought to their knees and destroyed, as the Lord did anciently in Israel and Judah. From this destruction, He will build Zion in preparation for the Savior’s return in glory. Until then, perhaps the church’s mission – to spread the gospel – is best accomplished in the manner of which Connor speaks. Nevertheless, it will be destroyed, all things will be made low, before it will be re-built.
What I am most appalled at is the continuing emphasis on collecting wealth. Young people are constantly encouraged to secure themselves against the uncertainty of this world by accumulating wealth. This is complete contradiction to building Zion. We must, instead, prepare ourselves to depend upon the Lord in all things, releasing ourselves from our dependency on the things of this world. This, too, must be an individual mandate, and only those who succeed in cutting these bonds will be spiritually free enough to build Zion.
1) Mammon is the Hebrew word for business. It does not have a negative connotation in Hebrew. Nibley loved speaking about this. The implications are worth a google.
2) You said “the Lord’s elect are effectively walking on eggshells.” The Lord’s elect have NEVER walked on eggshells. The Lord made it very clear that those who followed him would always be unpopular with the world, and that the world would use violence against them. They willingly endured horrible physical torment rather than deny the truth. This doctrine was restored through Joseph who lived it himself. I like this story: “n the fall of 1838, we went with David Patten to Adamondi-Ahman. When we got to the rock in the valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman, the Prophet Joseph told us it was the altar that Adam built. Joseph formed a circle of the brethren present, he himself in the center. He then drew his sword and called upon us to do likewise. This being done, we entered into a covenant never to accept terms of peace at the sacrifice of truth and right. That was the substance of the covenant.” (“They Knew the Prophet”, Hyrum Andrus, account of James B. Braken, Sr.)
Rob, are you saying, then, that if our leaders are “walking on eggshells” that they’re not the Lord’s elect? Or are you saying that they are not walking on eggshells?
President Benson: “I have talked face to face with the godless communist leaders. It may surprise you to learn that I was host to Mr. Khrushchev for a half day when he visited the United States, not that I’m proud of it. I opposed his coming then, and I still feel it was a mistake to welcome this atheistic murderer as a state visitor. “
Rob, Very perceptive of you. In general the christian NT is rather negative about money and riches, not only with scriptures with ‘mammon’ but other verses, such as Matt 19:24. I am sure there are other places. I don’t know of any example in the OT where riches or wealth in and of itself is spoken of in negative terms.
Some online searches for ‘mammon’ reveal mixed results. Some say its just money and wealth, others specifically corrupted money and wealth. And still others give mammon as a personification and as a specific name of a spirit.
Conner, I’m surprised you haven’t figured out yet, considering the mountain of evidence, that Hinckley and Monson are in league with the NWO.
Monson and Hinckley are NOT constitutionalists. They are both progressive/communistic in their political idealogy.
Somehow, members of the Church subconsciously think they have to pretend that every President of the Church is a constitutionalist, even though the obvious facts loudly speak the opposite.
I’ve seen your supposed “evidence”, John. You and I come to different conclusions. Believe as you wish, but please note that my website is not a forum for you to advance these kinds of views.
Keep in mind, also, that I have not claimed that church presidents are constitutionalists. But I do think that they are aware of who (if only generally) the gadiantons are.
I like the line from JFS, “Judgment was to be left with the Lord.” We would all do well to remember that. I also agree with the quote near the end from Elder Mathias Cowley, “You can make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness without being unrighteous yourself.” This, unfortunately, is very difficult for many in the church. They would do well to learn this…it is the basis for some very effective and much needed missionary work.
Why aren’t the Ron Pauls of the world being invited to give keynote addresses at BYU? Why is there no effort to present a “fair and balanced” viewpoint to the young, impressionable students of BYU? Why do they only receive the fascist viewpoint?
You failed to mention in your brief on Zbigniew, that he was the co-founder of the Trilateral Commision with arch-fascist David Rockefeller.
Do you really believe that building a $1.5B shopping mall, inviting the SEC to inhabit a penthouse suite overlooking Temple Square, and supporting homosexuals in destroying the Boys Scouts of America is also just part of “going along to get along”?
The question is, where does the church draw the line and say enough is enough?
From where I stand, it looks a lot like the old saying, “when you wrestle with a pig you both get dirty, and the pig don’t mind”.
#danny, I wish I could say you were wrong.
Not long ago a member of my family (a really diligent, prayerful person)–
was asked to do something by our bishop–
He did it.
Then someone in the stake presidency who acts in a somewhat hostile way towards my family member–
went to the bishop and complained that my family member was doing this thing (which the bishop had requested)–
The thing my family member is doing is completely in accordance with church policy, straight out of all the guidelines from “Salt Lake”–
but, after the SP complained to the bishop, the bishop called my family member in and berated him/her–
My family member is walking on eggshells–
not sure what to do; to stop doing what he/she was asked to do would be going against the church’s program–
and yet . . .
it’s hard to see, and who has the courage to stop it–
if a person stands up to a SP . . . there’s usually trouble ahead–
and trouble is what *we* don’t want or need–
so we quietly put our heads down and . . . slip under the radar–
Where do you stand Jim? Those who continue to cast aspersions upon the leadership of the church do not understand the Brethrens stewardship responsibilities in moving forward the 4 fold mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Far too many liberty minded folks continue to demand that the Brethren tweak the tail of the beast whenever they have the opportunity. These people do not understand the mandated Priesthood purpose/responsibility these Prophets,Seers, and Revelators have been called and commissioned to perform.
Instead the doubters just sit back on their Monday morning armchair quarterbacking keyboards and suppose that the Brethren should change their methods and do things THEIR way. Perhaps more of these naysayers should hit their knees and gain a personal witness from the spirit that those who have been called to these positions of leadership in the church have indeed been called by inspiration, and have been given the necessary insights and spiritual perception to move the work forward in an effective manner as prescribed by the Master, who directs that work in these latter days through these anointed servants.
Conner has it right. The responsibility to promote righteous political principles and expose the evils of modern day gadianton like actions is indeed an individual mandate for each of us to act upon. People should take that mandate to heart and stop shifting the blame for their own lack of fulfilling these responsibilities properly to the church and its leadership.
re: church leaders ‘walking on eggshells’ or being, somehow, in league with the gadiantons:
There is a ‘middle’ ground or another choice/option as to what is happening with present day apostles–
it is found here:
Ether in the Book of Mormon; here is one common example:
Ether 7:7; Ether 10:31; Ether 11:9
And *you* are thinking, “what? What’s the point?”
WHY is this record in the Book of Mormon?
Joseph Smith was not in captivity, or not much–
but as Babylon extended its influence the church gradually crept into captivity–
there were righteous kings in captivity; there were prophets in captivity; people sinned; people did righteous things in captivity–
there are hundreds of years of captivity–
why is it important that that is in the Book of Mormon–
to show *us* where *we* are now–
it wasn’t the ‘fault’ of a righteous king if he was born into captivity–
he may have tried to get out of it, but often he was not successful–
The church is in captivity; everyone in America and probably in the entire world is in captivity–
the captivity may be different than it was in the time Ether was written–
but it is captivity–
financial, spiritual, cultural, political, etc., etc., etc.–
Will it end? At some point, perhaps, when enough of *us* see that it is happening and choose to repent and come unto Christ–
This doesn’t mean that the leaders of the church are ‘bad’ men, at all–there were plenty of righteous kings and righteous people in captivity–
but, for some reason, many of the people didn’t get the ‘point’, and I don’t think *we* do now, most of us–
some of us are beginning to see it–
but we are unsure what to do, next.
It’s scary, this waking up business–
It’s a very simple idea, but when you think about it, it begins to make sense–
indeed, *we* will not be asked to account for the stewardships of:
bishops, stake presidents, primary presidents, home teachers, visiting teachers, 70, apostles, presidents of the church–
*we* will be asked to account for our “own” stewardship(s)–
I am so glad that I am not a general authority; it would be a terrible burden–
I need to see to my own duty, my own mission, my own stewardship and not worry about those of others–
but I still state that we are all in captivity–
and I know I sound like a kook–
otherwise, there are a lot of words in Ether that are almost meaningless, and I don’t believe that Mormon put anything meaningless in the Book of Mormon–
Excellent article (as usual). But, I am still left unsettled.
It is one thing to be familiar and even friendly with the enemies of truth and righteousness. I do see the wisdom in this on multiple levels.
However, it is a really big stretch between being “friendly to” and “promoting” people like Dick Cheney, Zbignew Brizinski, and the like. These people do not need to be given a stand to promote themselves by BYU. It is confusing to the students on campus who are still very impressionable (especially given that their education at the university has done close to nothing to teach them otherwise).
I have (like you, I’m sure) had discussions with other members of the church who look at things like this and interpret it as the church’s stamp of approval, and thus become a stumbling block for those who haven’t seen American policy for what it really is.
I tend to think that BYU’s support of American policy makers is probably more related to keeping strong ties between the school and American intelligence and law enforcement agencies.
If I’m going to criticize my priesthood leaders, it will be to their face. Not in a public forum such as this.
Connor, if you post a controversial article, and invite comments, I think you are opening it up to people offering conflicting opinions. I obviously don’t like to see criticism of our church leaders in a public forum, but I guess it’s probably not fair for you to tell John that he can’t voice his opinion here.
Outside – excellent comments. Do we think that President Monson does not understand the pit we’re digging for ourselves? I choose to believe he’s doing he can with a church that keeps to move farther and farther away from the vision of building Zion that was abandoned in the 1830’s. The answer to “What do we do”? We prepare ourselves individually as a Zion people – preparing ourselves to “become” Zion, so that when there are enough of us, the Lord can use us to build Zion. There is a gathering of those who see the vision. We must help teach, invite and encourage those who want to be free from this modern day Babylonian captivity!
I have no problem with conflicting opinions. But this isn’t a public forum. This is my blog, and I don’t offer it as a platform for anybody to post anything they like.
Maybe Mammon is just trying to make friends with us. Maybe the GAs are secretly trying to teach the Gospel to them and convert them. It surely couldn’t hurt to try.
If one reads Luke 16:8-9 carefully, it is apparent that the Lord was being somewhat sarcastic with the “unjust stewards”, “the children of this world”. Verse 9 reads, “And I say unto you, make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.”
In D&C 82, verses 21 & 22 are counsel given to “the soul that sins against this covenant and hardeneth his heart”; just as in Luke 16:8-9. In verse 22, the YOU He is addressing is those evildoers who He just counseled in verse 21.
While I do believe that the church is still fulfilling an important role in the Lord’s plan, in bringing men into the water of baptism and up to The Gate, as spoken of by Nephi (2 Nephi 31:17-18), I also remember that the Lord said the church is under condemnation, as a whole, for not remembering the new covenant (the Book of Mormon) and that condemnation had not been lifted in the time of Pres. ET Benson, nor has not been lifted since. And WHY is the church under condemnation? Because we do not study the Book of Mormon as we should. And what is it we are missing? An important part of the BoM is that is foretells of an apostasy in the latter days…in 2 Nephi 26-32, in Mormon 8, in 3 Nephi 16-22. We are told by the Lord Himself that the church in our day will be condemned and the fulness of the Gospel will be taken away due to apostasy.
Read it and pray about it for yourself, as Mark has counseled me to do.
There is a lot of repentance needed and justifying bad decisions and apostasy and shouting “all is well in Zion, yea, Zion prospereth, all is well” will not bring it about!
The time to build ZION is now. This is an individual process as Scott pointed out, and it is a grave mistake to lollygag thinking someday it will be time for ZION. Whether our lives continue or we pass through the veil, we best be found building the Kingdom of God right now in our own lives and making a difference in our stewardships no matter what they might be. Eventually Satan will be bound because of the individual righteousness of the Saints–not because the prophet of the day proclaims the time to build ZION has arrived. As for the Brethren, people are fools if they think the Brethren do not have a handle on “things as they really are.”
You haven’t seen my evidence, because I’ve never even talked to you before. We’ve been involved in group email discussions a few years ago when Joe Murff lost his faith in the Brethren, but that is all. You must be thinking of the tiny tip of the iceberg I’ve posted online (which I don’t consider sufficient evidence to prove very much).
I realize this is your website, and I will respect your wishes. I will say, however, that it does seem rather hypocritical for you to preach about freedom all the time, while at the same time enforcing a policy of censorship for those who think differently than you do. Why even open it up for comments then, if you’re going to set bounds on how far you’re willing to allow people to disagree with you?
Freedom is easily constrained by property rights, and legitimately so. I preach no such “freedom” that entails that people can do whatever they want on other peoples’ blogs, in their homes, or with their material property.
Rest assured, whatever other evidence you have that I haven’t seen, either from you directly or others indirectly, I’ve likely seen. Thank you for respecting my wishes not to have such material brought up on this site.
I’m willing to wait and let each man/woman meet the Savior and find out if he/she has pleased the Savior–
and even then it won’t be my business to know–
I agree with JL and James, though–
but I want to be careful not to judge the ‘brethren’; my ‘gut’ instinct is that a few of them know exactly what is going on and are unable, on an individual basis, to turn the tide–
by what some of them have said I strongly suspect that they are trying to be as much of an influence for good as is possible in these degenerate, difficult times–
I don’t think each private person can shift the responsibility unto the ‘brethren’ for anything righteous to be accomplished–
let them do their best and take heed to *oneself*
instead of ‘individual basis’ I should have said “on their own”–
that doesn’t mean that each of those who are aware is not doing all he can (or she)–
just as we ‘little’ people are–
this is why *I* believe we must not depend too much upon others–
I highly doubt you’ve seen this evidence. If you had, you’ve believe as I do, unless you lack integrity and honesty. If you want to see it, I extend the invitation. You have my email address.
You make a fair case that the Church Leaders are doing as they do (invitations to speak, etc.) as part of a larger, overarching goal. I don’t pretend to have any more insight into the subject than anyone else, other than the fact that as a BYU Alumnus, I sat in on several of the above-mentioned speeches.
Scriptural stories seem to align, generally, with your theory. Daniel, servant first to Nebuchadnezzar, then Belshazzar, and Darius — was influential (to say the least), along with his other companions, among the leadership of Babylon. Ammon, and the other sons of Mosiah were serviceable in much the same way. Mordecai and Esther, Paul among the Romans, etc. The more thought one puts into it, the more names and examples arise.
Whether the invitations to speak are the result of the church “making friends with the Mammon of unrighteousness” or not, they have had the effect of engendering sincere interest among the student body at becoming involved in the governing of our country. Among some of those names you mentioned, implicating them as statists… do you also include former armed service men / emeritus general authorities?
Familiar as you are with the Wheatley Institute, you must know that General Amos Jordan is instrumental in arranging for several of these speaking engagements. When David Petraeus spoke at BYU, Robert C. Oaks was on the stand behind him in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. I think it is appealing to believe that ‘making friends with the mammon of unrighteousness’ is the grand plan — but I’m not sure I can honestly attribute it to the appealing grand plan you have laid out.
I think a simpler explanation is that the leaders of the Church want to expose the student body to leadership at the national level, to elevate the national profile of the University, and to perhaps encourage a few of the students to consider pursuing a career in public service. Church leaders have encouraged us frequently, especially of late, to become more involved in our communities. I’m sure if Church leaders really wanted to befriend the “mammon of unrighteousness” it could do far better (worse?) than the likes of Brzezinski, Schlesinger, Rice, and Scowcroft.
– Alan M. Taylor
I don’t at all disagree that there are other purposes in play with these speakers coming in, such as those you note. And as for the “mammon of unrighteousness” angle, I don’t necessarily believe that this is a conscious strategy on the part of church leadership. It could very well be the Lord guiding things as he will, having these outcomes unfold for multiple purposes.
I would really like to think you read my post since I took some time to compose it.
Luke 16:8-9 is a stinging rebuke of the “unjust stewards”, the unworthy “children of this world”.
It is in no way a valid justification for church leaders befriending the mammon of unrighteousness.
Here are some Gadianton robbers with zero righteousness who shall face the Hellfire: https://www.ldsfreedomforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=63037